Joanne Palmer: Advice for pets during the holidays |

Joanne Palmer: Advice for pets during the holidays

Joanne Palmer

In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at or

Dear Bowser:

I am so glad you started an advice column for pets. I need help, pronto. It's the holiday season, and I just can't get into the spirit of things. I have done a terrible thing. I am mad at my owner. I have not wagged my tail or greeted her at the door for five days. I feel so guilty, but they left me. My entire pack left town for three days. They have never all left before and it was terrible. I was so lonely. The person who came to take care of me was very nice, but he forgot to put ice cubes in my water. I have to have my water chilled, or I just can't drink it. I know I am a little high maintenance, but I am a poodle. After they got home, they had a party and I stole a chunk of expensive cheese right off the coffee table … karma!

— Holding a Grudge

Dear Grudge:

You better not pout, you-know-who is coming to town! That said, 'tis the season for high expectations and big disappointments — but don't give into it. Think about all the times your owner has forgiven you. Perhaps you were a puppy and had an accident on the rug? Forgiveness is a road that travels in both directions, so I'd advise you to get on it. Immediately.

Dear Bowser:

Recommended Stories For You

I am an elephant writing to protest the phrase "white elephant holiday parties." It's no longer politically correct, don't you agree? Besides, who wants a dopey gift like a toilet paper roll that sings?

— Trunk in a Knot

Dear Trunk in a Knot:

Excellent point! It never occurred to me, or to anyone else, I'm sure. However, this is the time of year to maintain a sense of humor, so find a reason to celebrate. Have an extra peanut or two!

Dear Bowser:

I have sniffed all over the house, and I can't find one present for me. I have checked all the usual hiding places — under the bed, in the linen closet and in the pantry. Alas, there is nothing. I wanted a new dog bed and some Greenies, but from the look of things, I am going to end up with the proverbial lump of charcoal. I have been a good dog all year, guarding the house, barking at noisy snowblowers and keeping all pesky cats away.

— Neglected

Dear Neglected:

It's not Christmas yet! Patience. I advise patience.

Dear Bowser:

I know most of your readers are dogs and cats, but I am a tarantula with a problem. My owners have moved me upstairs to make room for the holiday decorations, and I don't like it up here one bit. It is dark, and I like the heat. My other spot had afternoon sunshine, which inspired me to do my spider aerobics. What can I do?

— Spidey

Dear Spidey:

Two words: Charlotte's Web. Charlotte was able to spin words into her web. If that won't work for you, try playing dead. Once your owner sees you on your back with all eight of your legs in the air, believe me something will happen.

Dear Bowser:

As a cat I never need or take advice, but just this one time I'm going to ask: Do you think it's OK to climb the Christmas tree when no one is home?

— Rebel

Dear Rebel:

Well, I know cats are agile, but if just this once you lost your footing and the tree fell over you'd feel terrible. Wait until Dec. 26th.